Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                          Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
May 6, 2012:                                    "Raising the Bar!"  
Sun AM Worship                     By Returning unto God in Holiness!

Text: Jer. 29:11-14 (King James Version)         

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                                       The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"

 

Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:12   Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

Jeremiah 29:13   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:14   And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

 

Lets pray. Father,  Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.  

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

Do you really believe that God has a plan for your life?

Song of Songs 2:15   Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.


Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
It really is a cool piece of Scripture aye. Yet when you think about what its saying, its saying the most incredible thing..The God of the heavens and Earth, the creator of all things - has a plan for your life - He knows you personally


God has a plan for each one of our lives whether you choose to believe it or not.

In fact I want to show just how much God has a plan for each one of our lives.

For the past couple of weeks we have been looking at some of the names of Gods special people like Josiah and then Jabez. How the name of Jabez name means "sorrow," "burden" or "miserable."

 

Can you imagine what a hard time this little fellow must have had when he was a boy?

His name meant misery. Maybe some of the children came knocking on the door asking if Misery could come out and play. What a name!

As I was Pondering this sermon God dropped a huge nugget into my lap. Are you ready for this?

 

ILL
If we take a look at the first 10 names of the redemptive lineage from Adam - Noah, we see God has a plan for all mankind and His plan includes every individual.
Are you ready for this? Are you sure?
Let this change your life..

Genesis 5
We start with Adam and look at each son through the 10 generations.

ADAM = MAN
SETH = APPOINTED
ENOSH = MORTAL
KENAN = SORROW
MAHALALEL = THE BLESSED GOD
JARED = SHALL COME DOWN
ENOCH = TEACHING
METHUSELAH = HIS DEATH SHALL BRING
LAMECH = THE DESPAIRING
NOAH = COMFORT AND REST

In other words - put all the meanings together and this is what you get:
MAN - APPOINTED MORTAL SORROW, THE BLESSED GOD SHALL COME DOWN TEACHING, HIS DEATH SHALL BRING THE DESPAIRING COMFORT AND REST.

Amazing isnt it but heres the thing..God had a plan for each of those people and Hes included you in His plan just as much as any one of those other 10.

It is great when you see something like that but how often do you find yourself looking at your heritage going wow! God created me and Im part of a line up just like the one weve looked at.

God has a plan for all mankind and He is using me (of all people) to fulfill it.

 we are living in a world thats full of these slipping standards.

Hebrews 12:14   Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

 

Malachi 3:7   Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Malachi 3:8   Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:9   Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:10   Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a  blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

 

We have got to root out and tear down Anything that is in opposition to the Lord

Gods standard is a standard of pure holiness and power.
1. In order for us to walk in this standard we will have to have a fear of the Lord
2. When there is no fear of the Lord the devil has a field day
3. He will come in like a flood

We must not accept anything short of Gods holiness and righteousness
It will be hard for us to get God to do something when our lives are not right before Him
In the first part of this chapter the word says

Isa. 59:1 Behold, the LORDS hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear
v God has not lost His power
a. We have all the power we have in the New Testament to live a victorious life
b. Jesus said in Luke 10:19 behold I give you power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
c. He said his "Hand is not shortened and His ear is not heavy.. He has all the power that we need

Sometimes it is sin that separates us from the living God
a. It sometimes on our plate
b. Sometime s it is us that has to change
c. The Cross-of the Lord Jesus Christ is our standard
Quote from Alexander Maclaren in The Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah: "It is not because God is great and I am small, it is not because He lives for ever, and my life is but a hand-breadth, it is not because of the difference between His omniscience and my ignorance, His strength and my weakness, that I am parted from Him: Your sins have separated between you and your God.
Hands (1-3). Gods hand is unable to work when our hands are defiled with unconfessed sin.
Our prayers accomplish nothing Ps. 66:18: 18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
His power is absent from our lives and ministries.
There will be an insincerity of our prayers with unconfessed sin in our hearts

In order to receive the ministry of deliverance
a. A person has to want to receive it
b. There must be a genuine and sincere repentance
c. An acknowledgement of our weakness in ourselves
d. And a dependency on the Spirit of the Living God

Isa. 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men
a. If we do not have a personal relationship with the Lord we will "grope about in darkness"
b. There will be spiritual blindness and deafness and dullness of hearing
Israels ear was deafened they could not hear the Lord
Word shows that the Lords ear was not deaf
c. The light of the Word of God will scatter the darkness


1. IT WILL EITHER DRAW OR DRIVE YOU
Isa 6:9-10: 9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
1. In these vs Isa was preaching to an arrogant and religious people
2. The more he proclaimed

 

Isaiah 6:1   In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

 

Isaiah 6:2   Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Isaiah 6:3   And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Isaiah 6:4   And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

 

Proverbs 14:12   There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

 

Matthew 7:13   Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Matthew 7:14   Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:15   Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:16   Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:17   Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Matthew 7:18   A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Matthew 7:19   Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:20   Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

Have you ever thought of just how different this world is from when you were growing up?

ILL
How Did We Ever Survive as Kids?
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930s 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s..
 After we were born, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. 
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets - no to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. 
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. 
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. 
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter but we werent overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! 
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. 
No one was able to ring us all day on our cellphones, and we were O.K. 
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. 
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no TV, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound, CDs or Ipods! No personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms..
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. 
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. 
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes. 
We rode bikes or walked to a friends house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! 
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

People change and times change.

In fact the Bible talks about being very cautious when it comes to accepting change..now notice I said cautious!!! Im not saying change isnt a good thing.

Song of Solomon 2:15 says:
15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Let me give you some background to this verse.

As you know, you have seen plenty of people testing the vintage of a wine. If its a great vintage the wine is worth a lot of money.

In vineyards they had two predators..do you know what they were?
1) Large foxes and 2) Small foxes.

Now if a large fox came into the vineyard they would shooo it away. If they didnt the fox was tall enough to nibble away on the fruit. That was bad.

But the small fox was even worse. It was so bad that if a small fox came in it wasnt tall enough to take the fruit so it would nibble away at the roots of the vine. that if a small fox came in it wasnt tall enough to take the fruit so it would nibble away at the roots of the vine.

 

Little foxes normally start out being the things that are so small, they seem almost too insignificant to worry about them.

Gods waiting for people to break out of this downward spiral..
But how do we do that?

The answers found in Acts 28:1-6 (NIV)
Ashore on Malta

28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live." 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

Paul had been through so much..Beaten with rods, abused, Stoned. Hed been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from his own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 He had labored and toiled and had often gone without sleep; hed been hungry and thirsty; cold and naked.

Now he finds himself shipwrecked..but finally gets ashore, he must be thinking..Yes, Ive got a break!!! He gets ashore, is surrounded by friendly natives who build a nice big warm fire. Pauls happily walking over with some wood for the fire when a snake enters the story!!! Can you imagine what Paul thought..surely not!!!

It would make you want to just curl up and die quietly in a corner..after all he had been through.

Now we know the snake must have been highly poisonous because the Islanders who live there are freaking at this snake, they know what sort it is.

Does Paul say.. Im giving up? Not at all
Does he drop to his knees and call out to God to remove it..no he doesnt.

Now listen!!!
He takes the snake and holds it over the fire and he shakes (more than Elvis ever did I suspect
J) until it drops off. Who did the shaking, God or Paul? - Paul did

In this world there are a lot of people with a lot of baggage hanging off them.

The world we live in says its ok to have little foxes running around with our kids from an early age and as a result, we have seen Gods standard for life lowered and I believe God has given us over (sound familiar) to these foxes.

My friends, we have a God given responsibility to ensure we hold any snakes that have attached onto to ourselves over the fire of God and with the assistance of the Holy Spirits empowering, to shake those things off that hinder our effectiveness in building the Kingdom of God.

God holds you accountable (not the world) to shoot any little fox that trys to come into your vineyard.

You see Gods plan and purpose for you is to bring Glory to Him. You cannot do that effectively by living to mans standards. God has set for us a benchmark, found right throughout His Word and said that is the standard for you to live your lives by - if you are to fulfill the plan and purpose He has set for you.

So heres the big question..How much do you believe what Ive have just said?

Im going to end by the way I started
If you believe what you believe, let that belief change the way you live your life from this point onwards.

The world would tell you, "thats youre belief just dont push it on anyone else" but I think we all know, that Gods Word is for all people, therefore, this week if you believe God has challenged you then Im giving you a challenge which is going to be very controversial.

Shoot any little fox you see entering your vineyard before helping others in love to identify any that might be in theirs.

Gods has created each person here today to produce fruit through your lifetime. When you do this, you please God and fulfill the purposes and plans that He created you for.

Please let this be a positive challenge to us today, God wants to encourage you to become all that He knows you can become. ** Lets pray **